ASN's Mission

ASN leads the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients.

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Vice President for Research, Development, and Innovation

Posted: February 21, 2020

Location: Washington D.C.

The Organization

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is the premier membership organization advancing kidney health. Since 1966, ASN has educated health professionals and scientists, advanced research and innovation, shared new knowledge, and advocated for the highest quality care for persons with kidney diseases. More than 21,000 physicians, scientists, and other professionals are members of ASN, working to achieve ASN's vision of a world without kidney disease.

While kidney disease is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality, affecting 37,000,000 Americans and over 850,000,000 people worldwide, there has been comparably little investment and innovation in diagnosing, treating, and preventing these conditions since dialysis was established as the standard of care for kidney failure more than 50 years ago. Recent action at the federal level, however, has provided a catalyst to advancing innovation to fight kidney disease. The July 2019 Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health recognized the societal impact and cost of kidney diseases and kidney failure as well as established aggressive goals designed to reduce the risk of kidney diseases and failure, improve access to person-centered treatment options, and increase access to kidney transplants.

ASN is taking a leading role in driving the kidney care community towards meeting these goals. To spur the necessary focus, research, and advances, ASN recently rebranded to the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health. The ASN Alliance for Kidney Health will ignite the innovation necessary to transform care and improve lives. ASN is realigning its internal operations to better help the ASN Alliance realize this mission. As part of the realignment, ASN is bringing together several of its programs focused on research and discovery to create the Research, Discovery, and Innovation team, one of an envisioned seven teams that will carry out the ASN Alliance's portfolio of activities.

The Opportunity

The Vice President for Research, Discovery, and Innovation (RDI) will lead ASN's workstreams that advance innovative therapies and diagnostics for people living with kidney diseases and failure through connecting discovery with commercialization, ensuring research readiness, and incorporating the patient's perspective. The RDI Center will include existing programs, such as the Kidney Health Initiative, a public-private partnership between ASN, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), patients, and industry that catalyzes innovation and the development of safe and effective patient-centered therapies for people living with kidney diseases, and KidneyX, a public-private partnership between ASN and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that accelerates break-through therapies via prize competitions. RDI will also initiate and find funding for new programs and projects in collaboration with the nephrology community, all with the goal of finding, nurturing, and bringing to market new patient-centered approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of kidney diseases. For example, the ASN Alliance includes KidneyCure, a separately incorporated foundation that provides approximately $3,000,000 annually in funding to researchers, scientists, educators, and clinicians.

Principal Responsibilities

The Vice President for Research, Discovery, and Innovation serves as ASN's executive in charge of programs and initiatives that translate basic science into clinical innovations, fostering new therapies and product development. The Vice President will be responsible for working collaboratively with the ASN Executive Vice President, other members of the staff, and key leaders to maintain and build relationships across the kidney, scientific, and investment communities; serving as the strategic leader in how to position RDI and the ASN Alliance to most effectively spur innovation; and overseeing programs and staff. Specifically, the Vice President will:

  • Serve as the ASN Alliance's point person for catalyzing innovation within the kidney community;
  • Articulate RDI's vision and how it contributes to achieving the vision of a world without kidney disease;
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with external stakeholders, including patient organizations, basic scientists, clinical researchers, clinicians, investors, industry representatives, and government leaders;
  • Develop (with senior staff, RDI staff, and key leaders) strategic priorities for RDI;
  • Oversee existing RDI programs, projects, and initiatives;
  • Identify and create new programs, projects, and initiatives that enable RDI to meet its strategic priorities, and oversee operations of these new initiatives as appropriate;
  • Lead and grow the staff who manage and support RDI programs and projects;
  • Manage the RDI team's response to government and private sector contract and grant opportunities
  • Identify, develop, and help generate new sources of funding;
  • Serve as primary staff liaison to the Kidney Health Initiative Board of Directors and KidneyX Steering Committee, and represent RDI before the leadership;
  • Participate as an active member of the senior staff and support enterprise-wide strategic planning and operational initiatives; and
  • Be accountable for the RDI budget, developed in tandem with other staff, such as the RDI Director, Vice President of Financial Operations, and Executive Vice President.

Reporting Relationship

The Vice President for Research, Discovery, and Innovation will report to the Executive Vice President of the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health and is a senior member of the staff.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate for this new leadership position will be a creative strategic thinker who also enjoys overseeing projects and leading and developing staff. Such a candidate will have at least fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in research, clinical trials, and pharmaceutical or biomedical product development, with at least five years in senior leadership, and will understand how basic science is translated into clinical innovations for patient use. The ideal candidate will possess the following skills and experience:

  • Strategic planning and visioning abilities and experience;
  • Proven ability to successfully oversee multiple complex projects or programs, on budget and on time, to achieve strategic objectives;
  • Ability to take an idea to full implementation as a sustainable project or program;
  • Demonstrated ability to build and sustain collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Understanding of FDA regulatory processes and clinical trials (direct experience in both highly desirable);
  • Ability to build and nurture a team, creating opportunities for staff learning and professional development, which includes a passion for teaching, mentoring, and supervising;
  • Experience working with volunteer boards and advisory committees;
  • Ability to communicate and work well with people at all levels;
  • Willingness to toggle back and forth between high-level strategic work and hands-on activities;
  • Excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills;
  • Background in nephrology highly desirable; and
  • MD/DO and/or PhD preferred but not required.


The position is based in the ASN Alliance's offices in downtown Washington, DC. The expectation is that 25% of the Vice President's time will be spent on travel.

To Apply:

ASN offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive fringe benefits package.

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements (with the subject line: Vice President for Research, Discovery, and Innovation) to ASN at Please note the society can only accept online applications for this position.